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BIA says action plan could quadruple R&D output by 2025

Claims it could rank the UK in the global top three largest biotech clusters

BIA logoThe BioIndustry Association (BIA) has outlined a series of initiatives that it says would rank the UK among the three largest biotech clusters in the world.

Among the main objectives of the 10-year plan are a fourfold increase in the number of new drugs and other interventions entering the clinic by 2025, along with a tenfold increase in private investment to £2.9bn a year and the creation of 30,000-60,000 additional UK jobs.

BIA chief executive Steve Bates said the key to achieving the ambitious plans will be "a collective effort across government, investors, industry, academia, funders, charities, patients and the health service." 

The report suggests the environment is now right for the resurgence of the UK's biotech sector, with investors regaining their appetite for biotech ventures and government reforms such as Innovate UK's Catapults and the Biomedical Catalyst helping to nurture early stage innovation.

The challenge now is to develop that early-stage promise into a thriving commercial sector with at least three leading pharma companies headquartered in the UK - one more than today - a strong tier of mid-size firms and all top 10 multinationals actively sourcing deals from UK talent. 

The BIA wants to add at least 130 more clinical stage drug development companies to the biotech ecosystem by 2025, helping to boost the salary pool by £5bn-£10bn more than today.

Key to the organisation's vision is breaking down the barriers between the private and public sector, for example by collaboration in tapping the rich data assets of the NHS and working more closely with medical charities, with industry bringing its understanding of "markets and unmet need" to the table. 

A strategic view of innovation opportunities that if focused on patient benefits and avoids spreading resources too thinly is critical, and steps needed to be taken to encourage more academics and clinicians to get involved in building businesses, says the report.

There also needs to be a greater acceptance that projects sometime fail - and measures to make sure that if they do it happens early on - alongside greater investment in bringing forward talent with the scientific expertise, skills, and commercial insight to improve the uptake of good science that will benefit patients.

Finally, the BIA says that given the long and complex path to patient benefit - it is important to celebrate successes along the way "to explain the benefits of our sector to society at large and governments of whatever hue." 

Article by
Phil Taylor

28th April 2015

From: Research, Regulatory

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